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Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Stewart-Haas team too close to Hendrick?; Good luck to A.J. Allmendinger

Stewart-Haas team too close to Hendrick?
Tony Stewart’s crew chief Steve Addington elaborated this week on the #14 team’s relationship with Hendrick Motorsports.
"We have a mutual understanding. They know how we're going to the race track and we know how they're going to the race track and what they're going to work on. I am in their Tuesday meeting with their drivers for debrief. Me and Stewart are either there or on the phone to talk with them every Tuesday. We're very open about it and that is something that is the cool part of it that I didn't have last year, having just two drivers with the Dodge camp. Being able to have that affiliation with Hendrick and to have Rick's support and to be able to talk to him one-on-one is really cool. We all share and that is the way it is. We work hard together and we share information and we take it from there and everyone can run and do with it as they want"

I have to say, this sounds fishy to me. There is a four-team rule, but the Stewart team operates as if it’s part of Hendrick Motorsports. Technically they are separate, but I don’t like this level of cooperation, and if I were NASCAR I’d put a stop to it. It’s not fair to the other teams, and may be part of the reason the Hendrick banner has won so many titles. Really, based on what Addington said and Tony’s constant thanking of Mr. Hendrick, you could count last year’s title with Stewart as a Hendrick title, making them the winner of the last six titles.

Good luck to A.J. Allmendinger
On Tuesday, NASCAR released a statement that made one suspended driver very happy.
“NASCAR has reinstated driver AJ Allmendinger upon his successful completion of NASCAR’s Substance Abuse Policy Road to Recovery Program. Allmendinger had been indefinitely suspended from NASCAR on July 24 for violating the sanctioning body’s substance abuse policy.”
I wish him luck, and hope someone will give him a shot to come back someday.
Hopefullly the issues in his life that led to this disruption in his career are over and he can become a success story, but it won’t be easy to find a team and sponsors to take him on in the short term. Maybe a trip to Indycar with Penske can be a holdover gig for him in 2013, as has been rumored.


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